The undercover police officer who was off duty when he allegedly participated in last week’s now-infamous biker melee says he only witnessed his fellow bikers as they dragged Alexian Lien from his SUV and beat him. But on Tuesday, investigators said new video evidence had emerged that showed Det. Wojciech Braszczok, 32, punching the SUV’s rear window, which shattered, then kicking the vehicle’s side before riding away. Braszczok, who came forward last Wednesday to say he had been at the scene, turned himself in on rioting and criminal mischief charges Tuesday night. While there’s some uncertainty about how effective a criminal prosecution of Braszczok may be after another person accused of breaking windows walked, those talking to the media as sources say he’s definitely in hot water with his employer, the NYPD.
Police are required to report crimes they witness, even if they’re not on duty, so Braszczok faces administrative action for not doing so. “Sources say Braszczok was not truthful with investigators about his role,” NBC New York reported. From quotes the New York Post landed, that’s quite the understatement:
As for the undercover cop, disgusted law-enforcement sources said Monday that Internal Affairs Bureau higher-ups want to nail the officer.
“The cop is a total mope. F—ing embarrassment, ’’ one source seethed. “They should can him immediately. Anyone else who was even peripherally involved should be canned.”
Prosecutors last week declined to press charges against another accused participant in the melee, Allen Edwards, who also allegedly pounded on the window of the SUV. But they didn’t say they wouldn’t. There will likely be plenty more charges in this case before it’s all over.
Update: Sure enough, police arrested a sixth biker later on Tuesday, bringing in Clint Caldwell, 32, of Brooklyn on charges of gang assault, assault, and criminal mischief. Though he wasn’t caught in the six-minute video that has given this case such a high profile, “Caldwell allegedly helped pull Lien out of the SUV and then assaulted him,” ABC New York reports.